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Archive for the ‘cakes’ Category

Sticky toffee pudding has always intrigued me. It’s warm, nice and moist and bathed in a buttery caramel sauce that reels me in every time. Warm caramel sauce is my thing. What has always surprised me is this cake has dates in it. It’s a date cake with caramel poured over, which in theory, always sounds a bit odd to this Yank. Dates have really come on strong in the last few years but sticky toffee pudding has been a thing in Great Britain for forever, best as I can tell. For good reason too … it’s delicious.

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Every year, I invite friends over to celebrate something I call “Polish Easter”. It’s a made up holiday of mine, planned loosely around the Easter holiday when schedules allow and is primarily a reason to eat the Polish foods of my childhood. It also happens to be my favorite Sunday Lunch of the year. I put on some polka tunes, pile the table high with old and new favorites – sausage and sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage, special breads, various vegetable dishes, the traditional butter lamb and of course the reason we’re all here: pierogies. This year it was too late to purchase a butter lamb so I made one for the first time, calling upon years of watching my father carve one out of stick of butter and with the help of several YouTube videos. It was spectacular. My Polish Easter was also later this year than usual due to busy schedules and happened to fall on May 5th so I called the event “Pierogi de Mayo”. Because of course I did.

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A few weeks ago, my dear friend Kate Hill (of the Kitchen at Camont) posted a cake recipe. It was a simple French version of pound cake, quatre-quarts, and she served it with the most magnificent looking strawberries. In fact, she made it specifically to go with those strawberries. The recipe is easy to remember: equal parts eggs, sugar, melted butter and flour. Weigh the eggs first, in the shell, and this determines the quantities of the other ingredients. It looked phenomenal though to be fair, everything Kate makes is pretty phenomenal.

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Hey! So I’ve been cooking up a storm lately, but nothing really blog worthy. More so, just some old favorites, many that I’ve already posted. With Easter coming up, there are some good things in the archives for your holiday brunches and dinners so let’s recap today.

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How wonderful is a good bundt cake? There’s something so homey and comforting about a moist wedge, usually with some kind of fantastic sugary glaze, that makes me so stinkin’ happy. The last month has been a bit crazy – travel, wicked jetlag, insane Olympic viewing marathons – that I badly needed something homey and comforting. My cooking mojo was running low and dinner has often consisted of a bowl of popcorn or a plate of raw vegetables and whatever I could round up to act as a dip. For the last several posts, I’ve made foods from recently maligned countries, and while very good, they weren’t cake. I needed cake. When I saw my friend Cathy Barrow’s recipe in The Washington Times for a Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake, I perked up. I had meyer lemons. I had butter and eggs and whatnot. Game on.

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I haven’t started this year off on the right food, from a health nor a cooking perspective. I pushed into 2018 with a cold. That horrible, no good, terrible flu that’s making the rounds. I was down for the count for days and have been “in recovery” for two weeks. I feel better – I’m not downing a pack of Dayquil every few days anymore – but I certainly don’t feel great. I haven’t been hungry. I haven’t been cooking anything beyond buttered noodles and frozen pot pies. My kitchen mojo is running on empty.

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I’m still trying to work my way through a boatload of apples I picked a few weeks ago. Applesauce, cakes, fritters. A pie once or twice. These things are making a dent but I have to keep going. I’m not sure how many times I can google “recipes that use a lot of apples” and expect different results but recently, I had a new idea based on a mediocre slice of pie: apple bars. Something buttery, crumbly and full of apple flavor. Something creamy would be wonderful too. I was thinking cream cheese, much like my German Apple Cheese Torte but in a bar form. That used hard to find quark cheese but honestly, anything in that creamy, dairy family would be good – crème fraiche, sour cream, mascarpone, ricotta. Hmmmmmm.

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